Abstract

Individual-level retrospective data from the Family and Occupation Survey of 1988 are used to assess the time diverted from gainful employment because of the presence of children in two Norwegian birth cohorts. We find that a two-child mother born in 1950, whose births occurred in her early twenties, lost 6.6 woman-years up to age 37, compared to a childless woman. By matching information on registered income with the survey data, we estimate that her lost income amounts to $151,000 at 1990 prices. After taxation the loss is $98,000. Women with fewer than 12 years of schooling seem to forgo more labor market activity by reason of childbearing than do their better-educated counterparts. The pattern is less clear with respect to the loss of income.

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